Orson Cornick isn’t comfortable being called a filmmaker, we spoke to him to find out why, and what inspired his touching and mult-layered second film Take Your Time. Here’s what he said:
These stories somehow pop into my head and this one especially. It is hard making films like this as they get very mixed reactions, but nevertheless I stick to what I believe in.
It started out life scribbled down in 15 minutes in my little black book as The Collector and was going to be a three-minute short. But then I thought I would connect it to the Children’s Union of Bears as a bit of a taster of what is to come (hopefully).
For this film we had Mitch Adams as Director of Photography although I was behind the camera in parts. I never really felt a loss of control to be honest as Mitch is great at what he does and has a wonderful eye for a shot.
We filmed in Madron, Penzance, St Buryan, Marazion, Mousehole, St Just and in Probus.
I have known Nicholas for many years and we first spoke about the Children’s Union of Bears back in 1997 when we had lunch in Santa Monica. He is a great man and my interest in his work has taught me the power of music in film, I now believe it is as important as the visuals.
Having Wurlitza on board was a real gift to the project as they enabled me to create a montage with a beautiful local organic feel.
My intention is to showcase talent from around the county and provide people that have never been involved in film, a chance to have a go. I am an amateur, and I still cringe when I am referred to as a filmmaker as I am not, I think that I am more alone the lines of a ‘nutter with a few crazy stories’ and I am happy with that.
And I think that to make a film like Take Your Time with the amount of detail we managed to get in, takes a little ‘crazy’ to complete. There were times when it very nearly fell apart and times when ‘some’ people told me to just give up, but that is not me… Yes, it took near on nine months to complete, but Luke Stoten’s performance in addition to that of Tiffany Pope, Nick Nicholas and Gareth Clarke, was so good, I could not let them down.
A project like this starts life as a selfish exercise as you do it ‘for you’, but as time progresses and the project takes shape, this changes, and you end up doing it ‘for them’. I am not sure if I am alone in this, but I imagine most projects are the same.
Take Your Time and pretty much every story I do from now on, will try and avoid storylines that use ‘Cornwall’ as part of the narrative, and use it simply as a beautiful, magical backdrop.
I have no idea what this film ended up costing me, but I think it probably cost somewhere in the region of £5k plus. But, I could of spent that money on studying film, instead of making one and probably learning a bit more.
My next few projects will be no less ambitious, but I hope to reign in the costs a little for the next two.
The next two projects will be Misery Loves Company about a girl who torments an old man, and Pillow which is about a disabled girl and her slightly unusual relationship. Misery Loves Company will be set in the same world as She Sells Seashells and Take Your Time, and will complete what I call The Prom Tales, so expect some familiar faces to appear!
Pillow which I wrote before Take Your Time will be a dark fantasy comedy and although set in the same world as everything else I do (yes, there will be a few cameos), it will be a very different kind of story, and not one for children. Our lead for Pillow is disabled in real life and is excited about the prospect of making a film about a disabled girl, that does not focus on the disability itself.
Making films takes a lot of guts, and as I said, a little bit of ‘crazy’ … but having a enthusiastic and supportive community around you is what you really need… Oh, and a supportive wife and family! My wife Aki and I would watch the Rushes after the day’s filming and start to pick through the best. I am excited that in future, Aki will take a more ‘hands on’ role with the projects and I am pretty sure her touch will give the films a whole new dimension!
What surprised me the most, was the reaction of children to the film and their varying interpretations of what is happening.
When we screened the film for the children of St Madderns School in Madron where we filmed the school scenes, they loved it and wanted to watch it again! This really did surprise me as I thought children might find it boring in parts, but I guess they are curious to find out the boy’s intentions for collecting the clocks.
Adult’s reaction to the film is somewhat different, and so in a way there are two films in Take Your Time. It is heavily layered and some things may not make sense yet, but in years to come when I get some backing to make the proper Children’s Union of Bears stories that I wrote years back, you will look back as TYT and say ‘Oh, right, now I get that!’
• You can catch Take Your Time on the international film festival circuit, most recently is has been selected for the 8th International Children’s Film Festival, Bangladesh. Watch his first film She Sells Seashells